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Jane Austen News – Issue 67

The Jane Austen News is - move to Bath!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

  Jane Austen Avoids Clichés

New Jane Austen portraitAmong many others, one of the statistics writer Ben Blatt has included in his new book, Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve: The Literary Quirks and Oddities Of Our Most Loved Authors, is the number of clichés famous authors use in every 100,000 words.

Using modern technology to complete lots of complicated statistical calculations he has discovered that Jane Austen used 45 clichés per 100,000 words, Virginia Woolf 62, and Khaled Hussaini 71. This is relatively few when compared with the likes of James Patterson (160 per 100,000 words), Tom Wolfe (142 per 100,000 words), and Salman Rushdie (131 per 100,000 words).

An interesting statistic from a fun book, but at the Jane Austen News it did make us wonder – is part of the reason that Jane has so few because clichés simply weren’t as prevalent at the time when she was writing? After all, there weren’t nearly as many books being published then as there are now. Then again, perhaps Jane was just too filled with inspiration to need them!

Five Reasons to Follow Jane to Bath!

In the Financial Times Property Listings this week was an article promoting Bath as an incredible place to live, and advising readers to follow in Jane’s footsteps and become a resident of the city. The five reasons to live in Bath were:

  1. Wonderful views (Bath skyline and the rooftop pool of the Thermae Spa got special references)
  2. It’s commutable to London (90 minute train journey from Bath Spa to London Paddington)
  3. It’s a stable investment (In the past five years, prime property prices in Bath have increased 24.4 per cent)
  4. It has a thriving arts scene (Festivals, theatres, museums, Jane Austen….)
  5. Country get-aways close by (The exclusive Babington House to name only one)

The Financial Times kept to just the five reasons, but we can think of plenty more!

 Rarely Seen Jane Austen Portrait on Show  

In 1869, Rev James Edward Austen-Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) commissioned a portrait of her from the artist James Andrews to accompany his Memoir Of Jane Austen, the influential, first full-length biography of Jane to be written. The portrait was snapped up by a private collector for £164,500 at an auction in London in 2013. However as part of an exhibition to mark the bicentenary of Jane’s death, the portrait will be returning to the UK and will form part of an exhibition running at at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre, from May 13th to July 24th. The exhibition will also feature manuscripts of some of her early writings, including a spoof History Of England, Austen’s silk pelisse coat (featuring a pattern of oak leaves), her purse and her sewing materials case.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 67

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Make Your Own Jane Austen Soap

A while back I posted about preparing for a Jane Austen themed Bridal shower. As it happened, my daughter needed a gift for said shower and was determined on making soap to go with the towels we had purchased from the bridal registry.  Inspiration struck after talking with a  friend and the result was adorable! We used Ivory Soap and water to create a mouldable soap base which we then formed in our Jane Austen Cookie Cutters.

Soap made using the Jane Austen Cookie Cutter.

1 bar Ivory Soap
Microwave safe plate and microwave
Mixer of some kind
Warm Water
Jane Austen Cookie Cutters (one per soap bar- they need to dry in place)
Oil or shortening for greasing cookie cutters

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